Franco Morbidelli will ride for the factory Yamaha outfit after returning from injury while Andrea Dovizioso will take over at SRT from Misano according to Yamaha Racing director Lin Jarvis.
Speaking to BT Sport ahead of the British Grand Prix on Sunday morning, the Brit revealed that Yamaha’s “intention” is to draft Morbidelli into the factory squad for the remainder of 2021 following the sacking of Maverick Vinales last week.
Morbidelli has been out of action since suffering a nasty knee injury ahead of the Dutch TT in June, with his recuperation thought to now be keeping away from the track until the San Marino GP in mid-September-leading to Yamaha bringing in test rider Cal Crutchlow to take-over the vacant ride following Vinales’ exit.
Morbidelli was always expected to make the switch to the factory team for the rest of the year once he returned, and Jarvis confirmed that this will happen at Misano, with Crutchlow likely to continue in the team for the upcoming round at the Motorland Aragon circuit.
“The opportunity is for Franky (Morbidelli) to grade up,” said Jarvis.
“Obviously, Franky’s been on our radar for a while now and this is now his third year, albeit it’s been a difficult year.
“But this opportunity will give him the upgrade ahead of schedule to move him up to the factory team.
“We’ve got a clear plan in place with his management for him to do that, so he’ll be a factory rider in 2022.
“And with that in mind and with this weird situation this year, we’ll upgrade him this season as well. So, when Franky comes back, the intention is he will be in the factory team.”
Jarvis also confirmed that Andrea Dovizioso will make his MotoGP comeback as Morbidelli’s replacement at Petronas SRT from the Misano round, with the seat thought to be going to one of the prospective 2022 SRT riders in Jake Dixon-who competed at Silverstone for the squad this weekend-or Darryn Binder.
He also revealed SRT’s intention-as a new entity following the sale of the organisation to current team management figures Razlan Razali and Johan Stigefeld-to run Dovizioso as one of its full-time runners next season, alongside either Dixon or Binder.
“We’ve agreed here this weekend with Andrea and his management,” added Jarvis.
“It’s not signed off yet, but I don’t really believe there’s any obstacles to get that done.
“So, what we’re working on now is Andrea will return at Misano and then he will run this season on Franky’s bike and then run a full season next year.”